Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kirkby Stephen's macaws feeding on beech mast

Kirkby Stephen, in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, has a locally famous flock of free-flying feral macaws. It seems that beech mast is their favourite food - all these photographs were taken from under a beech tree outside the local fire station this afternoon.







































These spectacular birds originally belonged to a local farmer and conservationist called John Strutt, who died a couple of years ago. You can read all about this remarkable man and his amazing free-range parrots by visiting this web site.

There's also more about him here.

















14 comments:

  1. I have never managed to see these but they are good to see here.

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    1. Delighted to find that they're still thriving

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  2. Wow I would love to see this birds flying free, even though they would look a little out of place in the British country side.
    Amanda xx

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    1. It is a bit of a shock when you see them flying down the main street!

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  3. Thank you for telling us about this, Phil. I'd no idea it was there, and I'll make a diversion to see this spectacle if I'm in the vicinity.

    Do the trustees of John Strutt's estate still maintain his feeding practices? I noticed, reading your links, that these were not considered feral birds in his time as they always 'came home' to feed, and was wondering if that was still the case. I could find no mention of these birds on the Trusts website.

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    1. Good to know - I'm always pleased to see them!

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  4. I used the wrong term here Richard. I should have said free-flying rather than feral, as John Strutt did make provision for their long-term supplementary feeding before he died.

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  5. Just seen them flying down the high street in Kirkby Stephen - couldn't believe it - fantastic sight and so unexpected. Will definately keep my eyes open for them when we're going though that way again.

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    1. I thought I was hallucinating when I saw them for the first time!

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  6. I used to love visiting John and sitting with him in the evening as the blue and gold macaws would fly in for their food. I'm so glad that the supplementary feeding continues and that these birds are still there. I don't suppose anybody knows of the fate of Brolly the umbrella cockatoo I gave John?

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    1. I never had the good fortune to meet John but he left a wonderful legacy

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  7. Just seen the beautiful birds lovely.to see

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